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The adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) platforms will dominate enterprise IT strategies in 2018, along with smart object storage, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI), a new report said on Tuesday. According to Hitachi Vantara, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, IoT solutions will deliver valuable insight to support digital transformation in almost every industry and market sector. IT must work closely with the operations side of the business to focus on specific business needs and define the scope of an IoT project. “Building IoT solutions that provide real value can be difficult without the right underlying architecture and a deep understanding of the business to properly simulate and digitalise operational entities and processes,” Hubert Yoshida, Chief Technology Officer, Hitachi, said in a statement.

According to Hitachi Vantara, enterprises started their digital transformation this year but the first problem that they ran into was the ability to access their data. Data is often locked in isolated islands that make it costly to extract and use. These islands were built for purpose and not to be shared and many contain data that is duplicated, obsolete or no longer used because of changes in business process or ownership, the report said. “Data scientists tell us that 80 per cent of the work involved in gaining analytical insight from data is the tedious work of acquiring and preparing the data,” added Russell Skingsley, Chief Technology Officer, Asia Pacific.

“The concept of a data lake is alluring, but you can’t just pour your data into one system, unless that data is properly cleansed, formatted and indexed or tagged with metadata so that the data lake is content aware. Otherwise you end up with a data swamp,” he added.

Next year will see a growth in analytics and AI across the board as companies see real returns on their investments. “AI became mainstream with consumer products like Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri, and Hitachi believes that it is the collaboration of AI and humans that will bring real benefits to society,” said Skingsley.

Video content analytics will be a “third eye” for greater insight, productivity and efficiency in a number of domains beyond public safety. The year 2018 will see new challenges in data governance which will require organisations to implement new frameworks.

The biggest challenge will come from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which will give residents in the European Union more control over their personal data. The increasing numbers of passwords required by today’s consumers will also support the shift towards biometric authentication in 2018, the report said.

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